7 people evicted from Orlando complex while waiting for rental assistance

ORLANDO, Fla. — A group of people in Orlando say they were kicked out of their homes while waiting for help with their rent.

Although the renters hadn’t paid up, many were trying to; but the complex refused the aid.

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Angelica Brown said she was working with Our Florida, a nonprofit rental assistance program, but the Tzadik Brookside complex didn’t complete the process.

Brown said her time at Tzadik Brookside has not been a pleasant one, but after COVID-19 hit, she didn’t have a lot of options.

READ: Rental assistance payments were on the way. He was evicted anyway.

Brown has been back and forth with the complex since last year due to nonpayment.

The eviction moratorium has saved her since then, but as of Monday night, she’s homeless.

“I understand that I owe back rent, but I’ve been doing my due diligence because I’ve had programs help me,” Brown said.

READ: Central Florida evictions grind to halt, lawyer says landlords are struggling

Brown was waiting on money from Our Florida to cover the costs.

The nonprofit said the complex never completed the process with them, therefore refusing the aid.

Brown is one of seven people who were asked to leave their homes Monday after not paying rent.

READ: Supreme Court allows evictions to resume during pandemic

Court documents show a total of 35 people have been served eviction notices at the complex in 2021 so far.

A 2020 analysis by the Center for Public Integrity shows the company has filed more evictions during the pandemic than any other company in Florida.

READ: Eviction cases piling up in Central Florida as moratorium ends

Federal data shows the Miami-based company owns properties across the country, and received a Paycheck Protection Program loan in 2020 worth between $2 million and $5 million.

Real-estate attorney Barry Miller says what happened to Brown is completely within the law, especially since she received the notice.

“You can’t force the landlord to make payments, wait for payments. The law doesn’t allow that,” Miller said.

READ: Evictions in Orange, Osceola counties increase after moratorium lifted

Miller said if you find yourself in a bind like this, speak with your landlord before it goes to court, and get everything in writing.

“Be upfront with your landlord. Say, ‘Look, this is who I’m working with. Not trying to dodge this, I’m trying to work this out. I can make a few dollars here and there. Will you work with me?’ Try to do that before they file,” Miller said.

READ: Will eviction moratorium’s end trigger a surge in Central Florida homelessness?

Channel 9 reached out to the complex for a comment on the evictions, but has not heard back.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.